Tuesday, May 15, 2018

God is Aware of You! Even If You Are In a Coma


Happy Mother’s Day (yesterday)!!!!

Wow! It was great to be able to talk with my family again for the final time on my mission. I love seeing their smiling and happy faces! I love them so much! I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for sending me to the most amazing family I could have asked for! I am so blessed to have the greatest Mom in the world who loves me and has sacrificed so much for me and the rest of my family. I LOVE YOU MOMMY!!!! :) :) :)

Alright, so I don’t have a whole lot of time to email today...and I already told my family most of what happened this week.... so I will tell you about a miracle that happened just on Saturday that I forgot to tell my family! Hahaha

So, Elder Reynolds and I had found this really nice man named Ashok on Friday who was interested in meeting with us again at the church building. So, we had a lesson scheduled with him for 4:00 on Saturday. However, for some reason we totally forgot about the appointment and realized our mistake at 4:45! As we hurried as fast as we could (well, as fast as the MTA bus service could go) we called Ashok to apologize and ask if he would be able to make it at 5. Turned out that we was super delayed as well and said he would be there at 5:00. We finally made it to the church and Ashok never showed up!!! So, we figured we would just wait to see if he might show up before we would have to leave at 6. After waiting for a little bit, the Chinese Sisters came into the building saying they needed us to come talk to a man they just barely ran into on the street and invited to come see the church building. The man they brought in was named Edgar and is from the Philippines! He is so kind and friendly! Well, Elder Reynolds and I showed him the building and taught him the Restoration using the pictures hanging on the walls around the building. As we showed him the baptismal font, Edgar said that he felt it was a very holy place. Just before entering the baptismal font room we had taught him about the restoration of the priesthood, so as we stood next to the font I invited him to be baptized by someone who now holds that same priesthood authority. The Spirit touched his heart and Edgar agreed to be baptized! We then walked with him to the Chapel and taught him about how we renew our baptismal covenants in this room as we partake of the sacrament. I asked him how he felt in there and Edgar again said he felt this room was very holy. Edgar agreed to come to church the following day! As we were talking in the Chapel, Edgar informed us of his wife’s dire medical situation. It turns out that his wife had total organ failure while they were on a trip in Germany 5 months ago and has been in a coma ever since. We told Edgar about the power of the Priesthood through blessings and he asked if we could give one to his wife in the nursing home hospital just 2 blocks away. It was a very sacred experience giving his wife, Linda, a blessing. As I was giving her the blessing, I felt prompted to tell Linda (who is still unconscious) that she would make a full and speedy recovery and that God would inspire doctors to discover what is wrong with her and what they need to do to help her. I know that God works through us as we are willing to submit to His will! God lined up our day perfectly (even though it meant cancelling our original appointment by making us forget about it) so that we could help out Edgar and his wife. 

I know that God lives and that He is very aware of each and every one of us. He loves you and knows exactly what you need right now. Trust Him! Follow Him! As you do, He will never lead you astray.

I love you all so much and hope you had an amazing Mother’s Day!

Until next week,
Elder Snell

1) My amazing Mom! She is a major reason that I am the person I am today! Thanks for everything you do for me, Mom :) :) :) I love you!!!!!1
2) My Dad was stuck in St. George and my Grandma is currently serving a mission in the Nauvoo, Illinois temple! What a memorable video chat for Mother’s Day! 
3) Lunch on exchanges with our Zone Leaders! I got to go with one of my previous companions, Elder Lee!
4) Poké bowl! I love all the super cool foods you can find here in Flushing! This one is a Hawaiian dish :)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Moral of the Story Is: Expect the Unexpected

APRIL 30, 2018

Hey, Everyone! :)

Oh my goodness, I don’t even know where to begin with explaining how this week went. You know those moments where something super unexpected happens and all you can do is just sit there and have no clue what to do or say? This week has been just a whole bunch of those moments! Hahaha both for amazing and confusing reasons. I will try to share what I can haha

Well, I still have no clue where to begin... so I guess I will just start with the most recent and work my way around the week! This morning we had our transfer calls!! We went into the call with a pretty idea of what we expected to happen, but then—as is consistent with the pattern of missionary work—the unexpected happened! Before I get to the actual call, I have to explain something that happened on Friday. I know, I know, sorry for the suspense 😅 On Thursday, we were in a lesson with one of the less-active members we are working with (who, by the way, was just ordained to the office of Elder last week and received the Melchizedek Priesthood! So proud of him!) when we suddenly get a call from President Reynolds. I answered the phone and President asked me if he could have my companion! Well, the assistants came Friday morning and took Elder Rice down to Lynbrook. In our mission we call this being “midnighted”. So, Elder Rice has been down in Lynbrook since Friday and will not be coming back next transfer.... Elder Schroader and I have had an absolutely amazing weekend! Miracle after miracle! But I will get to that in a little bit. Okay, back too transfer calls this morning! So, we were expecting Elder Schroader and I to stay together because they took Elder Rice last week, but once again we have learned another lesson in the indiscernible pattern of missionary work! Elder Schroader is OUT! So I will be finishing my mission here in Flushing, Queens with a new companion. Also, President Reynolds just called me and released me from my assignment as a District Leader. He informed me that my new companion will be the district leader for the first time on his mission, and that he chose me to train him to be a solid leader. So, I will be a junior companion for my last transferand will be focusing on helping my new companion become a better leader than I have ever been :) 

Sorry for the long paragraph! Hahaha I will keep the next one relatively short :)

First of all, here are a couple MIRACLES!!!!!!! Do you remember my investigators Jose and Irina in Midwood, Brooklyn? Jose was the one who completely changed his life around by overcoming things such as heroine, cocaine, stealing cars, robbing houses, weed, cigarettes, etc. And Irina was the wonderful Russian woman who had to travel everywhere in her automated wheelchair. These two have a really special place in my heart. I am so so so so so happy to tell you all that they were both baptized and confirmed this last week! God truly is a god of miracles and never ceases to bless and strengthen His children. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel toward our loving Heavenly Father. 

Next miracle! Isabella is an investigator Elder Rice and I found last transfer. She is amazing and I love her to death! She has come to watch General Conference with us and also made it to Stake Conference two weeks later. However, we hadn’t been able to sit down and have a lesson with her due to her busy work schedule working at the hospital. We have been praying for God to help her have the desire to make time to meet with us and on Friday God answered that prayer in a very interesting way. As Elder Schroader and I were knocking up in College Point, we got a call from Isabella. Her voice sounded flustered and as if she was about to cry. She rapidly explained what has been going on her life over the past couple weeks with one of the tenants in her house. To make a long story short, Isabella was doing this man a favor by allowing him to live in one of her rooms she rents out until he found a job. Well, the man abused this privilege and did some really terrible and illegal things to Isabella. He then twisted the situation and is pressing charges on Isabella for something that never happened. Isabella called us asking for help and asking if we could pray with her before she goes over to the police station to press charges on him. We met her at thee church and talked for a bit. We taught her about priesthood blessings and offered to give her one. She was extremely grateful to receive one and said she felt much better afterwards. I am so grateful for the blessing we all have to enjoy the comforting and strengthening influence of God’s power in this life. Isabella asked us if we wouldn’t mind meeting with her regularly to continue teaching her more about the Church. God truly answers prayers and allows us to experience trials in order for us to grow closer to Him.

Funny story for the week! So, thee transfer before I got here in Flushing, Elder Rice and his companion had been teaching a Russian couple named John and Lydia. However, they dropped them a while ago due to some complications in their teaching. Well, we felt that it would be a good idea to give them a visit last week and see how they are doing. We got there and they let us right in and sat us down and gave us lemon cookies and grape juice! They have such pure hearts :) our conversation was going really well until John brought up his concern again from when they were being taught previously...the Sabbath day. Yes, John and Lydia are 7th Day Adventist and hold very strong to the doctrine of celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday. I have taught quite a few 7th Day Adventists on my mission, so I felt confident we could help them understand why we reverence the Sabbath day on Sunday. Well, throughout our conversation, John whipped out scripture after scripture from the New Testament AND The Book of Mormon that talked about honoring the Sabbath day and keeping it holy. John and Lydia have read the entire Book of Mormon and have a firm testimony that it is true! However, they claim that they are the only true Mormons because they celebrate the Sabbath on Saturday. We tried just about everything......and then.......we realized the reason Jon and Lydia were not understanding. The word “Sabbath” in the Russian language translates to “SATURDAY”. To them, Sabbath literally means Saturday! So every scripture to them reads, “honor Saturday and keep it holy”. I am very proud of them for their devotion to God, but we have no clue how to get past this one haha...

I have so so so many more miracles and blessings to share with you all, but I guess I will have to hold on to those ones due to the length of this email! Hahahaha sorry...... I will be sure to put pictures for those who just skim or skip to the bottom haha :) 

This past week, I read the most life changing talk I have ever read! It was given by Elder Bednar at a BYU-I devotional. Please read it and let me know what you think of it!

“A Reservoir of Living Water” Elder David A. Bednar BYU-I Devotional

I love you all! Make someone smile today :) :) Have an amazing week!

Elder Snell

1) We decided to start growing plants in our window sill! We got the seeds from a cereal box! :) :) 
2) Carla the Cactus
3-6) Pictures from our last week at Flushing Meadows Park!
7) Ever seen Men in Black?
8-13) District Activity at Flushing Meadows Park!!! :) :) :)
14-15) Meet the Spengleans!! I love this district so much! I am super sad to see half of them go, but I am still looking forward to the coming transfer :)
16-17) Irina and Jose on their special days!

I Did Not Know You Could Eat That

APRIL 23, 2018

Hey, Everyone! :)

There is a song by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir called “I Think the World Is Glorious”. I have decided that it is my new theme song! :) :) :) Just thought I would share that with you all hahaha

Wow, I have loved this past week! The work is still trudging along :) I have seen the hand of the lord in my life is many profound ways this week! He has answered my prayers and has led us to find those whose lives need blessing. It’s been an incredible week :)

Our apartment had been smelling kind of weird over by the sink all last week. We had no clue why until I found the source of the smell—a SUPER moldy and rotten onion left in the cupboard by missionaries who knows how long ago! Super nasty! Just thought I would share hahahaha Missionaries are always leaving little “surprises” in their apartments when they get transferred! Hahaha

This week, I had exchanges with Elder Lee! He is one of the Korean Elders in my district :) I love him so much!!!!! We had a phenomenal exchange! There was never a discouraging moment during the 24 hours I was with him! Sure, we had door after door slammed in our faces, but nothing could destroy the positive mood Elder Lee brought to our missionary work that day. Elder Lee is also amazing at cooking Korean food! I had Korean food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! My favorite was the kimchi fried rice! For dinner, we went to a Korean restaurant where they served jellyfish, sea cucumber, shark fin, and all sorts of other foods! It was actually super good! And very expensive!

A couple days ago, after we finished knocking a couple streets with no discernible success, we were waiting at the bus stop to had home for dinner. While we were waiting at the bus stop, a very friendly looking Hispanic woman came right up to us and stopped right in front of us. She smiled at us, waved, and said in very broken English, “Hello! I know you. I have your book!” Her name is Alejandra. She is SO cool!!! Turns out that her Aunt is a Mormon. We invited Alejandra to church and she actually came! The Spanish Sisters will be teacher her :)

Lately, we have been knocking out an area near to Bowne Park. It is a beautiful park area with a very nice pond. Sometimes, if we are lucky, the pond is filled with turtles!! If we are extra lucky, the park is filled with lots of people!! Let’s just say that I love it a lot there! Usually, we will walk through the park talking with the people we pass while we are on our way to the neighborhood behind the park to start knocking. The other day, I felt that we should walk a little longer in the park and talk with people there instead of knocking that night. My companions agreed, so we started walking around the pond and trying to have conversations with the people walking their dogs. Sometimes we join the little old Chinese women doing their Zumba and pilates and TaiChi! It gets people to talk with us hahaha. But, this time, I spotted a very nice looking woman sitting by herself on a park bench. I felt that we should go directly to her and not talk to the people walking around the pond. I approached her and said, “Hello! What’s your name?” That’s usually not the best start to a conversation her because people are very skeptical here haha. But, she instantly responded and shook my hand. We then entered into one of the most fantastic conversations I have ever had about the purpose of life and our relationship with God. The best part fo the conversation was that we hardly did anything to initiate it! Christina (the 19 year old woman we were talking with) asked question after question. As we were bearing testimony and answering her questions through The Book of Mormon, she stopped and stared at me for a few seconds. She then told me that she felt a very profound power from the words I said to her and that she has never had so much clarity in her mind ever in her life. I explained to her how the Holy Ghost bears witness of truth and helps us to learn what God needs us to learn in this mortal life. The conversation with Christina lasted about 2 hours. I know that God led us to find her that day and filled our mouths as we relied on the Spirit for the words to say. Talking with Christina was one of the more incredible and sacred experiences on my mission. Truly a moment in my life I will not forget and I am sure neither will Christina. She agreed to read The Book of Mormon to find answers to al of life’s questions and to come to church with us someday. I know that God always has the right people in the right place at the right time.

God is real and will answer your prayers! I am certain of it :) Thank you all for being an answer to my prayers at some point in my life. I love you all and pray that you find true joy and peace from serving those around you! 

Elder Snell

1) We were lucky but not extra lucky! This was just after knocking for a bit :)
2-3) Wondo at Wendy’s
4-5) When it rains, it pours! It also make cool photo opportunites!
6) This is the Whitestone Bridge. It connects Queens to The Bronx. We missed our stop the other day..........the next stop was in The Bronx. So, we ended up on the other side of this bridge for a little bit. Found THE COOLEST investigator because of it, though! Some missionaries in The Bronx will be very happy to receive her as a referral!

The Most Spiritually Uplifting United Nations Conference Ever

April 16, 2018

Hello, Everyone!! :)

This week was a quick one, yet one that was filled with the Lord
guiding His work! We have seen quite a few blessings this week and
have been praying fervently for a few more.

Earlier this week, we were knocking down in our new favorite area to
knock—Fresh Meadows. It seems that God has been preparing that place
for us! One of the days we were down there, we were getting rejected
over and over and over again. We weren’t able to find anyone who was
interested in the gospel. However, we were able to set a very loose
return appointment with a man named Igbod. He and his family are
Muslim and claimed to know everything about every religion. We asked
him at the door if he had every heard of the Book of Mormon. He said
he hadn’t and that we could come back over on Saturday to tell him
more about it. Well, we went back on Saturday, and he let us in! We
sat down at the kitchen table with Igbod, his wife, and his two
daughters. They were FULL of questions! It was such an amazing lesson
teaching them about the nature of God and His Son, Jesus Christ. We
taught them how Christ restored His church in these last days through
the Prophet, Joseph Smith. The Spirit was really strong as we all
testified and shared scriptures from the Book of Mormon. The entire
family agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is
true. Miracles!!

Another miracle from this week was also over the weekend! Backing up
just a bit: General Conference a couple weeks ago proved to answer
MANY of my questions I have been asking God. One talk in particular
that gave me very direct answers was the talk given by Elder Larry Y.
Wilson of the Seventy. Now, here is the miracle. Elder Wilson was
assigned to preside at our stake conference this past weekend!!!! It
was amazing to sit at his feet and feel of the Spirit as his spoke and
taught the Lynbrook Stake. I know that he was called of God. Another
cool thing about stake conference was those who attended the
conference! We had just about every country in the world represented
in that meeting! China, Korean, many Spanish speaking countries,
Africa, the isles of the sea, etc. It was incredible!!!! Wow, I love

Anyway, I have procrastinated writing this email a little bit today.
So, I have to wrap it up here. I love you all! Thanks for being you
and remember that you are a child of a loving Father in Heaven!

Love ya!
Elder Snell

Till We Meet at Jesus Feet

April 9, 2018

Hi, Family and Friends! Well, I guess you all count as both. So.... I’m not quite sure which one to use. I guess I will just say Hi, Framily! :)

I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of this gospel. I know it is true and I now that we have a loving Father in Heaven who is omniscient and has set us on a path to live with Him and His Son once again in a perfected state with those we love. There truly is a possibility for life eternal and a bright hope that we will be reunited with family and friends in the life after our earthly mortality. I look forward to the day I get to be with my Grandpa and my Aunt Chris again who passed away this last week. She always knew how to brighten your day and make you feel special. I love you, Aunt Chris!

The work here in Flushing keeps getting busier and busier! I am so grateful that we have been led to find some really neat people to teach and to work with. God is so good! I know that He leads this work! 

Something that I have really grown to a better understanding lately is the power and influence of prayer in an individual’s life. I loved Elder Wilson’s talk from General Conference last weekend! His comments have really helped me learn how to pray more specifically and to notice the answers God has been giving me. I can now say with full confidence and certainty that Heavenly Father hears and answers every prayer in His time and in His way. 

I love you all! Sorry for the very uninformative email this week haha... I hope you all have the most amazing week ever! Make someone smile today :)

Love you all!

1) This is my lovely missionary Grandma and my Aunt Chris :) :)
2) Family picture from a while ago. Christine is on the back row in the very center :) :) :)
3) My most recent puzzle we completed last week! I love NYC!

My Week In Pictures

April 2, 2018

This one was actually from the first day of the transfer when we moved Elder Schroader in! Haha

I had a doctor’s appointment in Manhattan and the stop we had to get off at was GRAND CENTRAL STATION!!! It was pretty sweet! So many movies were running through my mind as we walked through the main terminal! Hahaha so cool!

Right outside Grand Central Station is the Chrysler building!! Pretty sweet!

Here is my mission from the other side of the river!!! I have taken so many pictures of manhattan and now I got to stand on the other side of the river and take pictures of spot i was standing just months before in Astoria, Queens area!

Nothing says Happy Easter like a stack of happy little rubber ducks!! Thanks for the gift Family!!! Love you!!!

Happy, Mikee, and Jacob came to Flushing to visit today!!!! Wow, it was so good to see them again! Congratulations to Jacob and his mom for their baptism 16 days ago!! I love these Filipinos SO MUCH!!!!!

Made a new friend at the park while finding the other day! Sadly, I am not allowed to bring him home.... hahahaha

Boiling Up Baptisms

March 26, 2018

Hey, Everyone! :)

Sorry for the really brief email last week that provided you with very little information about how my week went! Hopefully I will be able to remember what happened haha. 

Well, so start out, last week on Monday, we had our zone activity for the transfer! It was pretty fun to be able to gather with the other missionaries in my zone before finishing up the transfer. What did we do for the activity? Well, we made reservations for a guided tour of a Hindu temple here in Flushing! It was very very interesting! I learned a lot about the Hindi religion that I did not know before, so it was pretty neat :)

A couple weeks ago Elder Rice and I found an investigator named Ken. He used to be Hindu, but has recently taken a liking of Christianity! When we knocked into him, he was super down to meet with us and promised to come to church the following Sunday! And guess what! He did! And not only that, but he came the next Sunday as well! However, Ken had to leave from church an hour early, so we decided to have a quick lesson with him before he had to go. At the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptized and he did not hesitate to say yes! So, Ken is not progressing toward baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost! We are pretty excited for him! 

Another investigator we have been working with over the past transfer is James. He is the cousin of one of our less-active members and really likes the church. However, James is not the best with keeping commitments, so we have been contemplating dropping him. We have trying helping him in just about every way imaginable, but he really just doesn’t show the intent to change. However, last week James did show up at church on his own as well as yesterday! So that was pretty cool. Although, there was just one little thing that made it a little interesting... James brought vodka with him and was beyond drunk throughout all of church. It was an interesting experience helping him trough each hour of church. I am just glad he decided to come!

Last Saturday, Nancy was baptized!!!!!!! I am so proud of her for finally making the decision to be baptized! Nancy is the friend of Sister Ibanez here in the branch and was referred to the missionaries by her. Nancy has been taught for a good while and has finally been baptized and confirmed! The baptismal service was beautiful! She asked me to play a musical number for her while was stressful to put together in the one day I had hahaha but it turned out alright. The most stressful part was the day of the baptism, though! We went to turn on the baptismal font, and all the hot water in the church building was shut off!!!! So, we grabbed the largest pots we could find and started hastily boiling water on the kitchen stoves! Hahahaha! It was an adventure for sure! Eventually, the Korean Elders helped us find the water heaters for the building and we were able to fix them just in time to fill up the rest of the font with warm water. Definitely never going to forget that day!

Well, last week was transfers! Elder Rice and I stayed together and we got another companion! His name is Elder Schroader. He has been on his mission for 3 months now and just finished being trained over in Staten Island. It is weird being in a trio again :) it can be fun, though!

That’s about it for me this week! I love you all! I can’t wait to hear all about your thoughts on General Conference this weekend!!!!!! Have and amazing Easter!

Love ya!
Elder Snell

P.S. Jacob and the Duapa’s Mom were baptized and confirmed a couple weeks ago!!!!!!!!!!! SO AMAZING!!! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!!! :) :) :)

- Mikee, Jacob, and Happy!
- Hindu temple!
- Trio bed! Hahahaha
- District photo
- Trio
- Snow storm
- Baptismal water hahaha